No. 9 UCF tries to remain unbeaten against surging Temple
Temple (5-3, 4-0 AAC) at No. 9 UCF (7-0, 4-0, CFP 12), Thursday, 7:30 p.m. EST (ESPN).
Line: UCF by 10½.
Series record: UCF leads 3-2.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
UCF looks to extend the nation’s longest winning streak to 21 games and keep hopes of being considered to be one of four teams picked for the College Football Playoff. Temple has won five or six, including three straight, following an 0-2 start. The Owls are tied with UCF atop the American Athletic Conference East Division standings.
UCF’s high-powered offense (fifth in the nation in scoring and sixth in total yards) against a Temple defense limiting opponents to 330.5 yards per game, second-best in the AAC. Both teams are coming off open dates. There’s still a question, though, of who’ll direct UCF’s potent attack. Starting quarterback McKenzie Milton sat out the Knights’ 27-point victory at East Carolina with an undisclosed injury on Oct. 20, leaving Darriel Mack Jr. to make his first college start. Temple has been preparing for the possibility of facing either QB.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Temple: QB Anthony Russo is 5-1 as the Owls’ starter. He’s thrown for 1,410 yards, nine touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Leading rusher Ryquell Armstead (626 yards, six TDs) likely will be a game-time decision after missing the past two games with an ankle injury.
UCF: Milton, eighth in Heisman Trophy balloting a year ago, has thrown for 1,797 yards, 16 TDs and just four interceptions. Mack rushed for a career-best 120 yards and one TD, while completing 12 of 20 passes for 69 yards in the Knights’ 37-10 win at East Carolina.
FACTS & FIGURES
Temple ranks fourth in the nation in pass defense, allowing 147.5 yards per game. ... The Owls have scored seven non-offensive touchdowns. ... UCF is one of four remaining undefeated teams in FBS, along with Alabama, Clemson and Notre Dame. ... The Knights have scored at least 30 points in every game during their winning streak.
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